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Congress Creates Independent Ethics Panel

By Michael Chavers  Posted by Michael Chavers (about the submitter)     Permalink
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 Maybe our phone calls, faxes, and emails helped but whatever did the trick, I believe that congress is beginning to notice that we the people might just be paying attention to what they do up on capital hill.

Last night Congress passed (H. Res. 895) which will create an independent ethics panel to review ethics complaints against lawmakers.  This is an improvement over the current system which is a joke.The ethics panel will have six members 3 Republicans and 3 Democrats. 

The problem with the bill is that it won’t have subpoena power and that it will simply forward recommendations to the actual House ethics committee for further action.  Critics are calling this bill a paper tiger, while some say it is better than the current system and something is better than nothing.

This Bill had opposition from Republicans and Democrats alike.  I wonder what they are hiding from.  Recently two House members are under indictment, two others sent to prison, and several others under FBI investigation.  Why the heck would the House of Representatives want anybody overseeing their behavior?

What did our Representatives have to say on this issue?

Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) said “If you have a single ounce of self-preservation, you’ll vote no.”John Murtha (D-PA) “We have a New York governor in the news right now who shows that you can’t legislate ethics.  It always comes down to the individual.”Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) voiced his disdain for this ethics bill when he said “With this proposal we are indicting ourselves, yielding and retreating to those who would tear this House down and denigrate us as crooks and knaves and hustlers.”  

Abercrombie even tried to derail this legislation by forcing a vote on a motion to adjourn at 8 pm which failed and the vote went ahead and passed.With the performance of the Ethics Committee over the past ten years considered pathetic, an independent ethics panel is sorely needed.  However without subpoena power or the ability to consider complaints filed by anyone other than members or congress, has serious problems and will deserve a close scrutiny.

Peace and Liberty through intelligence, strength, and integrity. 


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